IOF prepares to invade Rafah

(File photo: Jordan News)
TEL AVIV — An Israeli Hebrew channel reported on Wednesday evening that the Israeli army has started preparing to invade the city of Rafah, anticipating the collapse of ongoing negotiations with Hamas in Doha.اضافة اعلان

According to the private Hebrew Channel 12, "Despite American pressures, Israel has begun its preparations to act in Rafah and has taken concrete steps on the ground in preparation for the operation in case the deal with the captives collapses."

It added, "At the same time, Defense Minister (Yoav) Galant is coordinating the military operation in Rafah with his counterparts in Washington."
The Qatari capital, Doha, has been witnessing indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas through Qatari and Egyptian mediation for days, but so far, they have not resulted in a prisoner exchange deal, Al-Ghad reported.

The channel said, "The army's preparations include a plan to deal with tunnels, attack command rooms, and houses where Hamas leaders are hiding, and to eliminate movement members."

It continued, "In preparation for the future operation in Rafah, and as part of dealing with the civilian population residing in Rafah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the purchase of 40,000 tents from China for Gaza."
According to the channel, "The tents will be transferred to Gaza immediately upon arrival in Israel, and clear locations will be designated for them in the sector, where the tents will be set up, and refugees will be transferred to them."

On the other hand, John Kirby, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council, reiterated in an interview with the same channel on Wednesday evening the United States' rejection of a military operation in the crowded city of Rafah with displaced persons.

He said, "We believe that conducting a large-scale ground operation in Rafah is a mistake."

He added, "We simply cannot support a large ground assault in Rafah that does not include a verifiable and achievable plan to ensure the safety of 1.5 million Gaza residents who have found refuge there due to the operations in the north, Khan Yunis, and previously in Gaza City."

About the warning about the "consequences" of the military operation in Rafah, which Kamala Harris, the US Vice President, emphasized, Kirby said, "As the Vice President also said, I will not speculate or engage in virtual scenarios here. We believe that there are other ways to pursue Hamas in Rafah, while Israel once again has every right to do so, but in a way that does not endanger these individuals, refugees."

On Sunday, Harris said in an interview with ABC News that she does not rule out "consequences for Israel if it proceeds with its military incursion into Rafah."

She added, "We have been clear in multiple talks and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a serious mistake."
Many countries, including the United States, have asked Israel not to carry out any military action in Rafah without ensuring the safe evacuation of over a million Palestinian civilians.

The United States has repeatedly stressed in recent weeks that Israel has not presented any reliable plan regarding the evacuation of civilians from Rafah.
Israel, which has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians in its destructive war on the Gaza Strip, forced most Palestinians in the north and center of the Strip to flee to the adjacent city of Rafah, claiming it is a "safe area." However, it later targeted Rafah with some airstrikes, resulting in dozens of casualties.

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